Really back to work now [6.0 hours]

Finished riveting the elevators, except for the leading and trailing edges.

It turns out to be better if you deviate from Van’s instructions. The manual has you rivet the front spar to the top and bottom skins, and then insert the tip rib assembly. In so doing, you have to buck the four AN470 rivets that join the front spar with the tip rib assembly, by lifting the corner of the elevator skin. I did this with the left elevator.

For the right elevator, I made a change. It’s easier to attach the tip rib assembly to the front spar before inserting the assembly into place. That way, you can use a rivet squeezer to set the AN470 rivets. You need to use a longeron yoke.

One other issue is the two AN426AD3-3 rivets that attach the top and bottom skins with their respective tip rib skin. The instructions have you buck rivets in the top with the bottom skin lifted, and use pulled rivets for the bottom (page 9-14). It’s actually possible to pass a tungsten bucking bar through one of the front lightening holes in the front spar. With a bit of manipulation, it is easy enough to insert the tungsten bar, buck these rivets, then extract the bar back out the front. I drove solid rivets into both the top and bottom skins using this method.

  • el80
    el80

    el80

    Interior of elevator, pulled rivets are used to attach rib halves to each other
  • el81
    el81

    el81

    Front spar and root rib ready to install on left elevator
  • el82
    el82

    el82

    Ready to rivet front spar on left elevator
  • el83
    el83

    el83

    Riveting rear spar on right elevator
  • el84
    el84

    el84

    Different approach for right elevator - rivet tip rib to front spar before installation
  • el85
    el85

    el85

    Right elevator front spar assembly going in...
  • el86
    el86

    el86

    Riveting completed on right elevator
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